Community

Darren Bifford, author of False Spring (Brick Books, 2018), interviewed in Open Book:

 

“I prefer the notion of a literary culture rather than a poetry community. … I think of poets in the way Wittgenstein characterized philosophers—as ‘citizens of no community’. We are beholden to our consciences solely, not to any collective.”

 

 

Binary

Heather Lang, writing in The Literary Review, about Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s Oceanic (Copper Canyon, 2018):

 

“… our moments in this world are not often binary, but typically both remarkable and messy.”

 

 

Human

John Murillo, author of Up Jump the Boogie (Cypher Press, 2010), interviewed on the PEN website:

 

“I believe literature has the potential to make us more human. Poetry, drama, literary fiction, creative nonfiction—when done right—can show us exactly who we are and who we still might become. For better or worse.”

 

Benediction

Christian Detisch, in Blackbird, reviewing Roger Reeves’s book King Me (Copper Canyon, 2013):

 

“Even as a benediction, a blessing, our relationship to our body and the bodies of others is still complicated and deeply fraught.”

 

 

Frictions

Jaime Shearn Coan, author of Lost and Found (Danspace Project, 2017), interviewed by Mariana Valencia in Movement Research:

 

“This is why working with archives is so crucial (and I am by no means the first to say so!). They are these time capsules that show us not just traces of individual lives but also the circulations and frictions between and among lives which constitute collective history.”

 

 

Source

Hayden Bergman, writing in The Literary Review about Martin Ott’s Lessons in Camouflage (C&R Press, 2018):

 

“… all books are wells to dip into for a drink, or maybe for a bucketful. Ultimately, however, they’re not the source of the good that’s to be got here. That comes from other people…”

 

 

Process

Diego Báez, in The Rumpus, reviewing Laurie Ann Guerrero’s A Crown for Gumecindo (Aztlan Libre Press, 2015):

 

“… it’s one thing to grieve for a lost love. It’s another to do so publicly. And it’s another endeavor entirely to process loss and love through art for an audience.”

 

 

Organic

Clara B. Jones, in i am not a silent poet, reviewing Arisa White’s You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened (Augury Books, 2016):

 

“Contrary to most male writers, most female writers, especially feminist authors, have boldly chosen to address comfort; personal narratives and personal relationships; egalitarian associations rather than ones based on power differentials; emotions and feelings; language as authentic communication rather than abstraction and symbolism; and, a holistic and an organic view of the world.”

 

 

Mindspace

Trevor Payne, writing in The Literary Review about Rita Bullwinkel’s Belly Up (A Strange Object, 2018):

 

“…nothing replaces the energy transfer that occurs when one body touches another. Otherwise we risk getting trapped in our mindspace, where things can get rather strange in a hurry.”

 

Kaleidoscope

Cynthia Cruz, author of How the End Begins (Four Way Books, 2016), interviewed on the Poetry Society of America website:

 

“America is a kaleidoscope of cultures, influences, voices, etc. We are a hybrid nation so when I think about what is American about American poetry, I think of this.”